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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency has halted a form of surveillance that allowed it to collect digital communications of U.S. residents that mentioned a foreign intelligence target without a warrant, three sources told Reuters.

The decision to end the program, which collected messages sent or received internationally and which had been criticized by privacy advocates, was first reported by the New York Times.

(Reporting by Dustin Volz; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Tim Ahmann)

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